Low Level Laser Therapy for Reducing Pain, Inflammation and Edema

Low Level Laser Therapy for Reducing Pain, Inflammation and Edema

The low level of near infrared light generated by a laser has been shown to stimulate and repair tissues.

Low level laser therapy (LLLT) is often applied to a wound or injury for short periods of time. When the light is applied at proper levels and amount of time, it can be quite effective for treating pain and inflammation, speeding healing, and even reversing some conditions. Often treatment last only a few minutes and is used multiple times.

You might ask, “How can light heal me?” Current research shows that the light. or phototherapy, stimulates certain processes in the cells that are touched by the laser. The mitochondria are the powerhouses of each cell. When the light stimulates the mitochondria, there will be an increase in respiration and more energy available to the cells.

LLLT has been widely tested in clinical trials and has been shown to be very effective for treating both acute and chronic conditions. The low level laser is effective for treating wounds, nerve issues, tendons, bones, and internal organs.


LLLT can be found in many clinical settings including physician and chiropractic offices, massage therapy centers, and acupuncture clinics. Cold lasers are being studied for their effectiveness in attacking viruses, reducing scars and burns, speeding wound healing, and much more. There are also laser devices designed to target and eliminate fat and others are used to treat and eliminate acne when an actual bacteria is responsible for the skin issue. Massage therapists incorporate this therapy into their practices to help eliminate inflammation and speed healing on multiple levels. Medical professionals and health practitioners are using these tools effectively in their practices.

Massage: Best Treatment for Back Pain

deep tissue massage for back pain
Massage for Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common ailments among Americans.

It is estimated that nearly 85 percent of our population experiences back pain some time in their lives. It is also the most frequent cause of limited activity in people under the age of 45. Those that prefer not to use standard medical treatments, such as pharmaceuticals, find that massage therapy is the best treatment for this painful condition. Massage modalities that are effective treatments for back pain include deep tissue massage, neuromuscular therapy, myofascial release, and structural integration.

Deep Tissue Massage

This modality is very effective for contracted muscle groups. The treatment includes slow and deep movements that concentrate on the areas of pain. Adhesions are broken up, circulation is increased, and stiff and sore muscles are released.

Neuromuscular Therapy

This therapy, also known as trigger point therapy,  addresses tight muscle with restricted blood flow, myofascial trigger points that cause referred pain, and nerve entrapment. The massage therapist applies varying pressure with fingers, knuckles, or the elbow to eliminate chronic pain, increase blood flow, and increase range of motion.

Myofascial Release

This is an effective technique using gentle sustained pressure to remove soft tissue restrictions, help eliminate pain, and restore function. The massage therapist assists the client with body mechanics, movement, and postural awareness.

Structural Integration

This type of bodywork focuses on the connective tissue that surrounds muscles, blood vessels, organs and nerves. When fascia becomes bunched and tightened, it tends to pull our muscles and bones out of alignment, causing pain and fatigue. Structural integration is used to lengthen and soften tissue, align the body in gravity, and restore functional ease.

Each of these modalities is effective for treatment of chronic and acute back pain, and they are often combined in a session as part of an integrative massage.

Note: The ABMP is a great resource for locating a massage therapist that has achieved proper certification and/or licensing requirements and follows a code of ethics.

Massage Types: Don’t Know What to Ask For?

Don’t know what massage type to ask for when booking your appointment?

Massage types that you will commonly see:

  • deep tissue
  • Swedish
  • neuromuscular therapy
  • structural integration
  • myofascial release
  • sports
  • integrative

Sports Massage

If you are an athlete, runner, or just like to participate in sports, you may want to consider a deep tissue or sports massage. Deep tissue works with specific muscle groups to release chronic tension and often pain. Sports massage is used to assess issues, aiding in rehabilitation and better performance. Sports therapy can include a variety of modalities that are valuable to the recovery, repair and healing processes.

Structural Integration

Are you having trouble moving with ease or feeling out of balance? Structural integration works with the fascia (connective tissue) that surrounds muscle, organs, and nerves. This connective tissue can become bound up and less elastic over time. As it becomes shorter and more dense, it can cause posture and movement issues. This can result in discomfort and fatigue. As you go through a series of structural integration sessions, you will notice feeling more in alignment with gravity and ease of movement.



Are you struggling with tension and looking for some relaxation? Swedish is a combination of long and kneading strokes designed to relieve muscle tension and promote deep relaxation. It also increases circulation and may help after an injury.

Neuromuscular Therapy

Do you have a repetitive movement injury? Are you having issues with circulation, nerve compression, or posture? Neuromuscular therapy is used to treat chronic pain that involves both the muscular and nervous systems. Another name for this is trigger point therapy. This type of body work is often combined with other modalities to treat the underlying causes of pain.

Integrative Massage

This type of work involves the application of several specific techniques that target the specific needs of the client. The session is designed for the client and the best therapeutic results. Often the massage professional will use Swedish techniques to alleviate stress, deep tissue to address areas of tension, structural integration to create better alignment, and neuromuscular therapy to treat trigger points. If you want an appointment designed to meet a variety of needs, ask for integrative therapy.

These are some of the more frequently used techniques. There are also mind-body techniques that can help to ease pain and depression. These include Reiki, EFT, Healing Touch, meditation, and biofeedback… to name a few. When booking an appointment it’s always a good idea to call your massage therapist or local center to discuss therapy options.

Restore Postural Balance With Structural Integration

structural integration

Structural integration is a type of bodywork that focuses on realigning and integrating the body in gravity. Fascia (connective tissue) surrounds muscles, organs, blood vessels and nerves. When it becomes bound up, movement is restricted.

During a structural integration session, the fascia is lengthened and softened in order to restore postural balance and ease of movement. Clients often report feeling more at home in their body after a session. Structural integration is based on the work of Dr. Ida Rolf and can be a series of treatments or part of an integrative massage/bodywork session.

Some of the benefits of structural integration include:

  • Ease of movement
  • Better body alignment
  • Fluidity
  • Grace
  • Energy
  • Alertness
  • Relaxation
  • Less anxiety
  • Improved sleep
  • And so much more!

Healing Touch for Injuries

When a joint, muscle or tendon is injured, inflammation occurs in an attempt to protect and heal the injured area. Classic signs of inflammation are swelling, redness, heat and pain. It is important to allow the injured area to rest and give it time to heal. Often, an injury to one area, a knee for example, causes pain and tightness in other areas, such as the hips, back and opposite leg, as your body attempts to compensate.

While massage is effective in releasing tight muscles and reducing muscle pain, it is not appropriate to use directly on an injury or recent surgery where inflammation is present. This is where Healing Touch comes in — an excellent partner to massage in the care and restoration of injured tissues, both chronic and acute. Healing Touch is an energy-based healing modality in which light touch is used to clear, balance and strengthen the client’s energy system. HT has been shown to reduce pain and decrease recovery time for injuries and surgeries.

In the case of a knee injury, massage could be used above and below the knee, as well as on the hips, back and opposite leg to release tension and restore the body to physical balance. Healing Touch is then appropriate to clear heat, pain and congestion in the energy field around the injured tissue, as well as balancing the whole energy system to promote wellness. Simple Healing Touch self-care practices may also be shown for the client to employ at home for continued support.

The following is a testimonial from a client that recently received a Massage/Healing Touch session to treat a hip injury:

“I had recently injured my hip during a workout and could tell that the joint was inflamed. I could barely walk and the pain was exhausting. This condition, in addition to the stress of everyday life, was holding me back. Not only did Kristi help with the physical condition, she helped me discover a blockage in my psychological and emotional state. I can easily pinpoint this session as the turn around in my recovery. Kristi is a gifted and compassionate healer, and I recommend her work often.”

-Fort Collins Massage Therapist

Watch for an upcoming Introduction to Healing Touch workshop where you can learn some basic healing techniques to use on yourself and your family. 

Kristi Buss is a Certified Massage Therapist and Healing Touch Certified Practitioner with over 18 years of experience. Please call (970) 472-0995, or email [email protected] for information or to schedule an appointment. Massage/Healing Touch sessions can be booked for 60 minutes, 90 minutes, or 2 hours.


Healing Touch

Are you feeling out of balance emotionally, physically, spiritually? Try Healing Touch!

Living Arts Wellness is now offering Healing Touch Energy- Based Healing.

Kristi Buss, CMT uses light touch on or above the body to clear, balance and strengthen the human energy system. the goal of Healing Touch is to restore harmony to the energy system, placing the client in a position to self heal on many levels including physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

Healing Touch is endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Association and the National Certification Board for Massage and Bodywork, and is accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.

For more information about the power of Healing Touch, please visit www.healingtouchprogram.com.

Call 970.472.0995 to book your session or book online atwww.livingartswellness.com.

Book today and receive a $10 discount on your session.


Deep Tissue Massage Helps Relieve Muscle Soreness

Snow shoveling can lead to body aches and pains. Here are some tips to help alleviate some of these issues.

1. Try warming up your muscles a bit before going out to shovel.

2. Stretch before and after.

3. Lift heavy snow using your knees… not your shoulders and back.

4. Take breaks if there’s a lot of shoveling to be done… this will help to avoid strain.

5. Take a hot shower or bath or apply moist heat to those sore areas.

And, if this doesn’t alleviate your soreness and/or pain, consult a certified massage therapist at Living Arts Wellnesssnowshoveling

Pregnancy Massage at Living Arts Wellness


Prenatal (pregnancy) massage can be beneficial for both mom and baby. It often helps to relieve many of the discomforts experienced during pregnancy, enhance sleep, and even boost the immune system. Massage for pregnant women may also reduce joint stress and increase blood and lymphatic circulation.

During a pregnancy massage, clients are bolstered with soft, supportive cushions to alleviate pressure on the low back, abdomen and pelvis. At the end of the second during the third trimester, moms often prefer a side-lying position with a bolster placed under the top leg and hip for support.

Massage during pregnancy often helps to alleviate headaches, reduce stress and anxiety, eliminate low back and leg pain, and promote restful sleep.

Massage Therapy Benefits and Fun Facts

Benefits of Massage

  • Alleviates low back pain and improves range of motion
  • Assists with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers
  • Enhances immunity by stimulating lymphatic flow
  • Stretches weak, tight and atrophied muscles
  • Assists athletes with preparing for and recovering from strenuous activities and competitions
  • Improves the condition of the skin, which is the body’s largest organ
  • Increases joint movement and flexibility
  • Helps to lessen depression and anxiety
  • Assists in reducing scar tissue
  • Reduces post surgery swelling
  • Relaxes tired and overused muscles
  • Relieves migraines
  • And, so much more!
Massage Facts
  • One hour of massage is equal to 7 – 8 hours of sleep for the body
  • There are nearly 5 million touch receptors in our skin
  • Touch is the first sense to develop in humans
  • Massage therapy is the third most commonly used form of alternative medicine in the United States
  • Stress is responsible for nearly 90 percent of dis-ease

Deep tissue massage concentrates on the deep layers of muscle and fascia

Deep Tissue Massage

Reduces Chronic Pain

Improves Blood Pressure

Breaks Up Scar Tissue

Rehabilitates Injured Muscles

Because deep tissue massage increases the flow of blood through the body, it helps reduce the inflammation that causes pain, and it can also help alleviate muscle tension that is often a cause or side effect of chronic pain by loosening the tight muscle fibers.

Over time, it can help break up and may erase scar tissue and can be an effective treatment for injured muscles.

deep tissue

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